As president Donald Trump's final decision on the Paris Climate Agreement looms, sources came forward on Thursday to discuss the logic and influence behind his thinking throughout the process. Although Trump often presents himself as a shrewd businessman with a knack for knowing the right moves to make, his wide flock of advisers hints otherwise. One of those inner circle confidantes is Trump's eldest daughter, who has been allegedly advising him to stay in the historic Paris Agreement on climate change despite minimal documented evidence supporting this claim. So, where does Ivanka Trump stand on climate change? A representative for Ivanka did not immediately respond to Romper's request for comment.
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Ivanka was frequently billed as the moderate voice for her once-liberal-turned-conservative extremist father. Sources (some of whom were presumed to be thinly veiled leaks from Ivanka herself and her husband Jared Kushner), claimed Ivanka supported a handful of progressive causes, including climate change, according to Politico. In early May, Ivanka was even chosen to review the United States' role in the Paris Agreement, which saw her arrange a meeting between environmentalist Al Gore and Trump.
Now that it's likely Trump will withdraw the United States' support from the Paris Agreement, stories are popping up about Ivanka's failed fight to change his mind. Jonathan Swan, a reporter for Axios, even claimed Ivanka put "intense" pressure on Trump to remain in the deal.
An official also echoed Swan's claim to Politico, in which he said:
Ivanka is doing what she can to get him to stay. But that doesn't mean he's going to do it.
Similarly to Ivanka's other supposed causes like LGBTQ rights, there isn't much concrete evidence to back up the stories of her efforts. As of Thursday, Ivanka's official Twitter account has remained entirely mum on the Paris Agreement. In fact, Ivanka hasn't tweeted anything at all about the Paris Agreement in the past seven days. Ivanka was equally silent when Trump refused to sign any agreements on climate change protections at the G-7 summit last week.
Although it's completely possible that Ivanka believes in climate change in private but is hesitant to express her views publicly due to the GOP and Trump's disapproval, it's hard not to assume she doesn't care enough. If you're an ardent supporter of a cause, it's a bit counterintuitive and confusing to champion it incognito, especially when you have a wide range of influence like Ivanka does. As of Thursday, Ivanka has around 3.8 million Twitter followers, which presents a unique and privileged opportunity for her to speak up on something incredibly important. As a mother of three herself, it's confusing as to why she hasn't spoken out on how the Paris Agreement helps families in the long run.
To make matters even more complicated, it's not even really clear where Ivanka stands on climate change. All of Ivanka's alleged support is conveyed through sources and anecdotes rather than words from her own mouth. In December 2016, Ivanka's supposed commitment to climate change protections came from Gore.
In conversation with MSNBC, Gore said:
It's no secret that Ivanka Trump is very committed to having a climate policy that makes sense for our country and for our world. That was certainly evident in the conversation that I had with her before the conversation with the president-elect. I appreciate the fact that she's very concerned about this.
Although many environmentalists hinged their hopes on this statement from Gore, it's become difficult not to believe that Ivanka's support of climate change protections is a "secret"... or at least a fabricated tale to bolster her moderate image.
To take this investigation into Ivanka's position on climate change even further, in February 2010 she tweeted a seemingly snarky message on global warming:
Obviously, a lot can change in seven years. It's more than possible Ivanka read up on climate change or shifted her views after giving birth to her first child in 2011. The only problem is, there's barely a discernible shred of evidence pointing towards this scenario.
The only thing to be learned here is that Americans should be dubious of any causes Ivanka claims to champion. Although it's comforting to think Ivanka is softening the blows of a Trump presidency, it has become increasingly clear that this narrative is more of smoke and mirrors than actual reality. Instead of patting Ivanka on the back for anecdotally supporting climate change, United States citizens should lend their support to activists actually making an impact.